[Haskell-cafe] Optimal line length for haskell

MightyByte mightybyte at gmail.com
Mon Oct 29 22:27:43 CET 2012

I frequently find myself wanting to look at one file while coding in
another file so I can see type signatures, data type definitions, etc.
 If I only have one file fullscreen, then I would have to switch back
and forth to refresh my mind with API information.  If your max lines
are sometimes 200 chars, then you're going to have tons of wasted
screen space from all the other lines that aren't 200 characters wide.

On Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 4:44 PM, Marc Ziegert <Coeus at gmx.de> wrote:
> O_o
> Those are damn strange reasons to restrict oneself to 80 chars, iMho.
> I tend to look at ONE file at a time, on one fullscreen widescreen.
> 100 chars per line is more or less normal; I have my vertical line limit marker set to 100, but only for layout-zen. My lines have sometimes 200 chars length, which causes the less important (long) code not to clutter my overview on the >50 neighbouring lines (~10 functions overview on the left half of the screen). Otherwise, I'd use a browser/Haddock on one part of the screen just to see an overview of the code I'm writing.
> I'm now wondering, whether this could have sth to do with my ADD, which I had the first 3 decades of my life (and without whiteboard). I think, I should try to code in a small narrow window of 1/4 of my screen, just to test whether that would (still) be a handicap.
> Roman: "academic background"... Funny; my impression about this matter was from the other point of view: Short lines are good for diff/patch files.
> Are there more people here with ADD (or ADD-history) and long-lines-disorder? Or is that just me?
> - marc
> -------- Original-Nachricht --------
>> Datum: Mon, 29 Oct 2012 11:32:29 -0400
>> Von: MightyByte <mightybyte at gmail.com>
>> An: Jake McArthur <jake.mcarthur at gmail.com>
>> CC: Haskell Cafe <haskell-cafe at haskell.org>
>> Betreff: Re: [Haskell-cafe] Optimal line length for haskell
>> I also stick to a pretty rigid 78 characters.  Doing so actually helps
>> me fit more code onto my screen at a time because I usually have two
>> or three columns of open files side by side.  I find that I need this
>> more often than I need to see a single function on a page (thanks to
>> Haskell's traditionally small functions).  But this works for single
>> functions as well because I can open the same file in multiple columns
>> at different locations in the file.
>> "The ideal line length for text layout is based on the physiology of
>> the human eye… At normal reading distance the arc of the visual field
>> is only a few inches – about the width of a well-designed column of
>> text, or about 12 words per line. Research shows that reading slows
>> and retention rates fall as line length begins to exceed the ideal
>> width, because the reader then needs to use the muscles of the eye and
>> neck to track from the end of one line to the beginning of the next
>> line. If the eye must traverse great distances on the page, the reader
>> is easily lost and must hunt for the beginning of the next line.
>> Quantitative studies show that moderate line lengths significantly
>> increase the legibility of text."
>> Web Style Guide – Basic Design Principles for Creating Website
>> Patrick J. Lynch and Sarah Horton
>> 2nd edition, page 97.
>> On Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 10:37 AM, Jake McArthur <jake.mcarthur at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> > I stick to 80 columns fairly rigidly. This is not only so that it fits
>> > into narrow windows, but also so that any two subexpressions in the
>> > same expression tend to be close together on my screen, which makes it
>> > easier for me to reason about it. If only it was easy for me to read
>> > and write code on a Hilbert curve... :)
>> >
>> > I don't think long lines indicate a design problem; it's solely a
>> > formatting thing.
>> >
>> > On Mon, Oct 29, 2012 at 7:50 AM, Rustom Mody <rustompmody at gmail.com>
>> wrote:
>> >> There was a recent discussion on the python list regarding maximum line
>> >> length.
>> >> It occured to me that beautiful haskell programs tend to be plump (ie
>> have
>> >> long lines) compared to other languages whose programs are 'skinnier'.
>> >> My thoughts on this are at
>> >> http://blog.languager.org/2012/10/layout-imperative-in-functional.html.
>> >>
>> >> Are there more striking examples than the lexer from the standard
>> prelude?
>> >> [Or any other thoughts/opinions :-) ]
>> >>
>> >> Thanks,
>> >> Rusi
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
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